MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) — The newly-proposed Australian legislation significantly lowers the threshold of existing law, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs was quoted as saying by The Guardian on Friday.
"Many of these amendments … significantly lower the thresholds of existing law," Triggs said. "The words 'may' and 'might' or 'suspicion' rather than words that require reasonableness. They're drafting differences but they're ones that have quite profound meaning."
She noted that it was difficult to assess the dimensions of the risk that the new law entails.
"We are not able to know the facts and the dimensions of the risk. We must take some of that on faith, and we do, but the difficulty is that in trying to assess whether or not these provisions are an overreach we don't know how proportionate they are to facts that we are unaware of," she said.
On October 2, the Australian Human Rights Commission made an inquiry into the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill 2014. The submission was sent to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
"The Commission considers that in several instances, the Bill goes beyond what can be reasonably justified to achieve legitimate purposes," the inquiry said.
The new bill seeks to give law enforcement agencies greater powers to stop and search citizens, obtain questioning warrants, prohibit travel to certain areas, detain people at customs and cancel visas and welfare payments.
The bill was first introduced and read on September 24. The parliament needs to consider the bill in the week of October 20, after the joint committee carries out an intensive inquiry into the issues raised by the Human Rights Commission by October 17.